In a first, a court convicted a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious sect over her refusal to sanction blood transfusion for a relative, a procedure banned by the sect’s teachings, Interfax reported Wednesday.
Natalya Podlozhevich was fined 5,000 rubles ($170) by a magistrate of the Khanty-Mansiisk region’s town of Kogalym, which found her guilty of abandoning in danger her 5-year-old son.
The unnamed boy was hospitalized last February in serious condition, the cause of which was not specified. Medics said he required blood transfusion, but his mother refused to sanction the procedure. The boy died two days later.
The ruling may set a precedent for other cases against Jehovah’s Witnesses’ members on similar charges.